Sac Speed Shop's 1972 Oldsmobile 442 Balances Cruiser Sensibility And Blown LS Power


Sac Speed Shop's 1972 Oldsmobile 442 Balances Cruiser Sensibility And Blown LS Power


Over the past few years, Sac Speed Shop has emerged as one of the go-to outfits for LS-powered GM restomod builds in the northern California region. Established in 2017, the company evolved out of a group of friends’ mutual passion for the LS platform and all things General Motors. “We’d all been building cars on our own since the early 2000s,” says Sac Speed Shop owner Alex Hernandez. “And with how connected we all are to the NorCal car scene, it just made sense to eventually turn it into a business.”

Sac Speed Shop 442 headlight detail

While the shop specializes in the GM LS engine family, whether that means some work on late-model vehicles or full custom builds, and that broad focus inspired Hernandez to divide the 12,000 square-foot facility into three distinct sections. “We get into a little bit of everything over here,” he says. “We’ve got a section where we work on the stuff that comes in regularly – Camaros, C5 Corvettes, Trailblazers, Pontiac G8s and that sort of thing. Then we have another section where we do work on late model Corvettes and the latest Cadillac V-Series stuff. And the third section is where we do the LS swap builds – we tend to go over the top with those. For us it’s about performance as well as the aesthetic. The idea is to create something that can win a trophy at a car show, make a fast pass at the strip, and perform in the donut pit.”

Sac Speed Shop 442 Interior

Sac Speed’s latest creation is this 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, a car which epitomizes the shop’s approach to restomod builds. “We built this for a customer of ours who went up the ladder from a fourth-gen Camaro to a C5 Corvette, to a boosted C6 Grand Sport,” Hernandez explains. “But eventually he decided that he wanted to do something old school.”

Bought as an unrestored roller back in 2018, owner Allen McKay had the bodywork and top addressed before installing a mild 5.3-liter LS and adding some 22-inch wheels. But after getting the Olds roadworthy and cruising it around in that configuration for a bit, he soon decided it was time to take the build a few steps further. “In 2020 he came to us and says, ‘Hey, I’m ready to dial this thing in – let’s go,’” Hernandez tells us.

Seeking a balance between drivability and outright performance, the team swapped out the 5.3-liter LS for a 6.0-liter LS2 and outfitted it with a GP Tuning camshaft, LS3 cylinder heads, and Hooker headers, along with Holley EFI high-flow fuel rails to support the ProCharger D1X blower that they added to the mix. “He wanted something that would reliably deliver around 700 horsepower, and we felt like that would be easy to accomplish with this setup while also providing a more modern vibe in the engine bay. One of the things I really like about this combo is the C6 Z06-style accessory drive and top mount blower. It gives it a unique look.”

Sac Speed Shop 442 Engine Bay

The LS2 is backed by a 4L80-E transmission and a 10-bolt rear end with an Eaton limited-slip differential and 4.10 gears. To give the car better body control and the right look, the crew at Sac Speed Shop also installed a set of QA1 coilovers at all four corners along with a set of 22-inch wheels from Forgiato.

The project was completed and fully dialed in this past spring, and once it was out on the street, it didn’t take long for the 442 to start making waves in the NorCal car scene. “It’s all over the internet right now,” Hernandez says. “We had a big muscle car show at Sacramento Raceway Park earlier this month, and the Olds was going wild in the donut pit at the event. It gets a lot of attention wherever it goes.”

Sac Speed Shop 442 Wheel Profile

Sac Speed Shop was also the title sponsor for the Up In Smoke Donut Pit at LS Fest West earlier this year. Although the 442 wasn’t quite ready for the burnout competition at that point, it still made its presence known at the event. “The car sounds crazy, so it turned a lot of heads,” he says. “But [McKay] cruised around with it all weekend, and when it was parked, it was either front and center at the Holley booth or at the donut pit, where a few of the other cars that we’ve built were competing.”

The team is planning to take the 442 out to the Hoonigan HQ for a bit of tire-slaying carnage in the near future, and it’ll make an appearance at this year’s SEMA show as well. There’s a few changes coming over this winter, too. “We’re going to upgrade the brakes to a Baer setup. It’s just got basic brake conversion on it right now, and with 700hp, it could use the extra stopping power,” says Hernandez. A new gearbox from RPM Transmissions is also part of the plan, along with some other changes that the team isn’t ready to reveal just yet.

Sac Speed Shop 1971 Caprice SEMA build

In the meantime the crew at Sac Speed Shop has a wild SEMA-bound donk build that has also been keeping them busy. “Being a SEMA car, we knew it had to have a serious motor behind it, so we’ve got a 1200hp 427ci LSX under the hood with Frankenstein cylinder heads, a Holley Dominator ECU, and a Procharger F-1X,” he says of the ’71 Chevrolet Caprice.

The big coupe features a paint color that was inspired by the back of a Rose Gold iPhone. The custom hue features a deep pearl undertone that naturally draws your eye to the Chevy’s extensive custom metalwork, the latter of which includes a flush-mounted panoramic roof and a smoothed-out firewall with rolled transition points. “This is a frame-off custom build that’s been in the works for about three years now,” Hernandez notes. “At this point it’s about ninety percent of the way there and it’s already starting to make a name for itself.”

Sac Speed Shop 442 rear


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